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BBC local MW services to end

by RXTV-newsdesk
BBC local radio changes

BBC Local Radio listeners who currently listen on medium wave are being redirected to Freeview, BBC Sounds, DAB and FM.

A number of BBC Local Radio stations will close their medium wave (MW) service during the next eight weeks. The closures come nearly a decade after the BBC first proposed cuts to its MW service. In one area, BBC Local Radio will leave medium wave without a fall-back option on FM.

Starting from 6th May in Northern Ireland, and across various parts of England and Wales throughout the rest of May and June, the following BBC Local Radio stations will cease broadcasting on medium wave.

Northern Ireland

  • BBC Radio Ulster (6th May)
  • BBC Radio Foyle (6th May)


  • BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (10th May)
  • BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester (13th May)
  • BBC Radio Lancashire (17th May)
  • BBC Essex (20th May)
  • BBC Radio Stoke (24th May)
  • BBC Radio Sheffield (27th May)
  • BBC Radio Leeds (1st June)

At the time of publication, a switch-off date for BBC Radio Devon was still to be confirmed.

The following stations will lose some of their medium wave coverage in June:

  • BBC Radio Gloucestershire (in Stow on the Wold) (7th June)
  • BBC Radio Wales (in North Wales, Wrexham) (9th June)

As a result, in parts of the Stow on the Wold area, BBC Radio Gloucestershire will be exclusively digital, via DAB, BBC Sounds and Freeview channel 735. Here, full FM coverage is not available.

MW transmitters no longer “value for money”

Kieron Clifton, Director at BBC Distribution commented that the affected transmitters across the UK “no longer offer sufficient value for money for licence fee payers”. He added: “A large and increasing share of radio listening in the UK – including to the BBC – is digital, and the BBC is committed to a digital future for radio. In recent years we have made significant investment in local DAB expansion, all of our local radio stations are available on digital terrestrial TV (such as Freeview), and we have transformed our online and mobile offering with BBC Sounds.”

Further details about the affected frequencies are found on the BBC website.

For details of which BBC Local Radio stations are available on Freeview in your area, visit our guide, which is based on your local TV news region.

Support is available from the BBC MW Helpline on 03700 100 700.

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